Encryption was let out of the toothpaste tube a few decades ago and helps to make computer data safe and private. Apple encrypts iPhone and iPad by default, and Messages has end-to-end encryption to secure text messages.
It gets better. The Mac, too, has an option to encrypt everything you store on macOS. Encryption is everywhere and it is so good that even governments cannot easily hack into devices. That is a problem that authoritarian governments want to end. I fear encryption as we know it is about to die.
Mine, Not Ours
Think about all you capture and store on iPhone, iPad, or Mac (or any device, including Chromebooks, Android smartphones, and Windows PCs). It is your information and does not belong to various government entities who want the privilege of being able to view it at any time. If you have nothing to hide, what’s the problem?
It doesn’t matter whether or not I have anything to hide. It’s is mine, not yours, and not the government’s.
The Euro nation’s Ministry of the Interior wants a new set of rules that would require operators of services like WhatsApp, Signal, Apple iMessage, and Telegram to cough up plain-text records of people’s private enciphered chats to authorities that obtain a court order.
In other words, goodbye privacy, and goodbye user encryption. Such governments around the world are willing to give limited encryption so long as government officials can get at your information whenever they please.
Already governments in oppressive and totalitarian nations are pushing to limit user encryption. Where? Nations such as China and Russia?
Yes, of course.
But also in the good old U.S. of A., and England, and Australia, and elsewhere– because governments fear citizens who have total rights over information.
The rules are the latest in an ongoing global feud between the developers of secure messaging apps and the governments. The apps, designed in part to let citizens, journalists, and activists communicate secured from the prying eyes of oppressive government regimes.
This is not going to end well because such a scenario means only the criminals and terror groups would then have access to encryption that cannot be broken.
Governments… say that the apps also provide a safe haven for criminals and terror groups that want to plan attacks and illegal activities, making it harder for intelligence and police agencies to perform vital monitoring tasks.
Here is what will happen. Governments will win this and Apple, Android, Windows, Macs and all other platforms will have user encryption that comes with backdoor keys that can be accessed by authorities.
What about criminals and terrorist?
They win. They will be able to create their own encryption anyway– without backdoor key access for authorities– to hide their nefarious deeds and information.
Bad guys win. Good guys lose. No, in this case, government authorities are not the good guys.